Following the ill-fated JV game Friday, Nov. 2, the Grizzlies had their chance at the pack of Wolves from Shasta. It was an intense match-up that saw the Grizzlies come out on top 54-21.
The first quarter started with the Grizzlies kicking off to Shasta. On the reception, Shasta fumbled the ball with the Grizzlies recovering it for the possession.
The Grizzlies made quick work in the first minute with Tucker St. Andre making the rush for the Grizzlies first touchdown of the night, with an unsuccessful extra point 6-0, scoring just 40 seconds into the first quarter.
The Grizzlies kicked off back to Shasta, and the Shasta team made small pass and rush plays to move up the field. Matt Rudd and Jacob Memmott did not make it easy though, keeping the momentum for the Grizzlies defense.
Shasta eventually got within goal range and Shasta made a three yard rush for the Wolves first touchdown and extra point bringing the score to 7-6, the Wolves momentarily taking the lead against the Grizzlies.
After the return kick to the Grizzlies, Hayden Chittock, the Grizzlies quarterback, completed a 70-yard pass to Aaron Ogburn for the Grizzlies second touchdown of the night, with Robert Howard following that up with a successful rush for the two point conversion bringing the score to 14-7.
The kick off back to Shasta had the Grizzlies pile on the Wolves receiver putting him down on the Grizzlies 10-yard line. Shasta didn’t sit still for long with a big play getting a first down at midfield. The Grizzlies defense was finally able to hold them, forcing Shasta to turnover with just a yard to go.
The Grizzlies offense had a tough time after taking possession, with a hand off to St. Andre getting stopped in the backfield on the first play. On the second down and 14 to go, Chittock made up the yards lost, dodging the sack by Shasta. Chittock made his way to the outside for a 20 yard gain for a first down. Chittock didn’t stop there getting the Grizzlies another first down after a short pass to Nick Valdez.
St. Andre and Howard followed those up making seven yards and getting the third down and three to go.
The next play had the ball carrier Howard fumble the ball with St. Andre on the recovery, followed with a face mask penalty on the defending Shasta, giving the Grizzlies a first down.
On the first down, Chittock made a skillful pass to Chandler Monahan who dodged the interception. Shasta attempted to stop the Grizzlies on first down. The Grizzlies were finally able to make a move for the end zone with Chittock handing off to St. Andre for the Grizzlies third touchdown and a successful extra point to bring the score to 21-7, with the Grizzlies widening the gap.
The Grizzlies kicked off back to Shasta with only a minute left in the first quarter, for Shasta to squander its chance at any offensive posture. Shasta quickly had to punt back to the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies had a big play with St. Andre out maneuvering the Shasta defense running to the outside, but due to a hurtling penalty by St. Andre, the Grizzlies were back on second down with 20 yards to go. This brought an end to the first quarter.
The second quarter could best be described as a frenzy, with both teams taking multiple penalties during the quarter.
As the Grizzlies continued on the second down and 20 to go they were shortly thrown another flag for a five-yard penalty due to off sides on the Grizzlies offense, setting the Grizzlies back to second down and 25 yards to go.
With the yardage against them, the Grizzlies perseverance was undeterred, attempting a rush play with St. Andre but it was, unfortunately, stopped short. The Grizzlies were forced into a punt back to Shasta on fourth down and 22 yards to go.
Shasta’s time on offense was cut short as they fumbled the ball. The ball fell seamlessly into Dillen Langslet’s arms for the recovery.
Unfortunatly, the Grizzlies would have their time cut short on offense as Shasta intercepted a pass by Chittock meant for Monahan.
The Grizzlies shored up their defense to hold the Shasta offense in place. Shasta was hit with a holding penalty having them replay the second down.
On the second down the Grizzlies responded to the earlier interception with one of their own by Langslet, who appeared out of nowhere to snag the ball back for the Grizzlies.
With the ball back in the Grizzlies hands the Shasta defense held up the Grizzlies offense in four quick plays with the Grizzlies unable to make a move upfield, punting back to Shasta.
Shasta on the punt return was finally able to move past the Grizzlies wall of defense, for their third and final touchdown of the night, following it up with a successful extra point bringing the game to a tie 21-21.
Shasta’s final touchdown brought an end to the tumultuous second quarter.
The third quarter had Shasta kicking off to the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies made a well-constructed offense starting in the third quarter, with St. Andre making waves up the field for a first down, and a second first down came due to pass interference on Shasta’s defense. The Grizzlies however fumbled the ball on a pass play to Monahan with Shasta on the recovery.
Shasta tried to make another quick touchdown after a big running play, but Rudd on the defense took down the ball carrier for Shasta. The Grizzlies at this point turned into the immovable object on defense and forced Shasta to punt.
On the punt return the Grizzlies offense wasted no time as Chittock made a 65 yard pass to Rudd for a Grizzly touchdown. Anthony Wagner followed up with a successful extra point to put the Grizzlies ahead 28-21.
As Shasta took possession after the kick off, the Grizzlies kept up the pressure. Shasta on second down and seven to go was hit with a penalty for an early start keeping the second down but a loss of five yards to make it second and 12 yards to go.
On the replay of the second down, Dallin Lee and Jacob Memmott pushed the Shasta offense further back to third and 13 to go. On the third, Shasta made a small gain of six yards to bring them to fourth down and seven to go. Shasta decided to play the fourth down in hope of gaining a first down, but the immovable Grizzlies held them in place, forcing a turn over.
As possession went back to the Grizzlies they faced a daring push after the Grizzlies were hit with a holding penalty to set them back on the second down to 20 yards to go. St. Andre helped to break the yardage, carrying it for a seven yard gain to bring it to 13 yards to go on the third down. Quarterback Chittock saw the opening for a 55 yard pass to Aaron Ogburn for another touchdown for the Grizzlies, with Wagner making another extra point for a 35-21 score half way through the third quarter.
Shasta’s offense was once again held in place by the Grizzly defense. St Andre, on the third down, sacked the Shasta quarterback setting them back to 18 yards to go on the fourth down forcing another punt back to the Grizzlies.
The punt back to the Grizzlies landed out of bounds having the Grizzlies starting on Shasta’s 20 yard line.
St. Andre and Dylan Lazard were the driving force for the offense late in the third quarter with St. Andre gaining a first down with an impressive carry of 20 yards that out maneuvered the Shasta defense. Shasta responded in the next play as St. Andre was again the ball carrier for the Grizzlies and they caught St. Andre in the backfield adding two yards to the Grizzlies second down.
Lazard, however, did not let the 12 yards to go on the second down deter him, as he broke through the middle of Shasta’s defense for another first down for the Grizzlies.
After a quick play that had Howard carry the ball for a small two-yard gain on the first down. The next play had Chittock with a 15 yard pass to Lazard who put it away in the end zone for another touchdown for the Grizzlies, with Wagner following up with an extra point bringing the game to 42-21.
With less than a minute left in the third quarter the Grizzlies kicked off to Shasta but Cort Mason raced down the field for what looked like a painful tackle on the Shasta receiver, bringing an end to the third quarter.
Shasta started the final quarter with its team on the offensive against the Grizzlies, but this didn’t last long. On third down and one to go, Shasta fumbled on a tackle by St. Andre with Jake McCart recovering it for the Grizzlies.
On the offense the Grizzlies made their way quickly up the field with Howard and Lazard gaining first downs for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies had a tough time breaking the Shasta defense once they got within goal range. On the third and goal, Chittock was looking for an open receiver when Shasta broke through the Grizzlies defensive line, hoping to get the sack on Chittock, who made a break for the end zone, rushing four yards for another touchdown for the Grizzlies. The extra point was unsuccessful coming up short. This brought the score to 48-21.
Shasta’s offense was short lived, as St. Andre started by sacking the Shasta quarterback, setting Shasta back to 18 yards to go. By the fourth down Shasta was again forced into punting back to the Grizzlies.
On the return the Grizzlies had a tough time moving up the field with Howard gaining a yard on the second down, and an incomplete pass to Monahan. On third down and nine yards to go, Chittock handed the ball to Lazard who ran the ball 55 yards for the Grizzlies final touchdown of the night as well as an unsuccessful attempt at a two point conversion which brought the game to 54-21.
The continuation of the fourth quarter had the Grizzlies maintaining a superb defense holding back the Shasta offense.
The victory over the Shasta Wolves gave the Grizzlies a spot in the NSCIF playoffs. Their first game was against the Anderson Cubs on Friday, Nov. 9. The results were unavailable at press time.